499 Kevin to Burton

Memorandum NEW DELHI, 30 December 1948

The accompanying material was brought around to me this afternoon by Dr. Soedarsono, the Indonesian Representative in Delhi. You will notice that it is addressed to Dr. Usman who is asked to submit it to the Australian Government 'after approval and substitution'. We do not quite understand what is meant by 'substitution'.

2. Dr. Soedarsono, made no attempt to withhold the contents of the document from us and it came to us in open form. It might be as well, however, if it were sealed down before being passed to Dr.

Usman. Dr. Soedarsono is handing another copy of it to the External Affairs Ministry here.

3. You will have had our cablegrams [1] on this subject giving an outline of the Indian attitude and that of other quarters towards the progress of the Security Council reference. There is a good deal of uncertainty in all quarters as to what the next step can and ought to be. Mr. K.P.S. Menon when I saw him earlier this week asked me what I thought of the idea of an Asian conference in support of Indonesia to which, in the absence of instructions I could only remark that Asian opinion seemed already to have expressed itself in fairly definite terms. Menon himself seemed to query whether a conference of this kind would achieve any real purpose. He then said that he would be seeing the Prime Minister and asked whether I could propose anything to him for discussion during their interview. Sir Girja Bajpai, when I saw him this morning, was equally at a loss although, as reported to you today by cablegram, he is suggesting a common approach in the form of a message by Asian countries and Australia to the Security Council. The Indonesians themselves, including Dr. Soedarsono, appear likewise to want a lead. Soedarsono, said today, for example, that he was seeing the Prime Minister this evening and enquired whether I could suggest any method of approach to the problem which he might discuss with Mr. Nehru. Here again, as in the case of Mr. K.P.S.

Menon, there was nothing that I was in a position to contribute.

4. Soedarsono has heard from the Indonesian Representative in Washington that future action by the United States and Britain will be conditioned by the action which Asian countries, including Australia, may take in support of Indonesia. The report is really very vague, however, and I am not sure that Soedarsono attaches great importance to it. Both in his case and in the case of the Indian Ministry of External Affairs there is a disposition to blame Britain for her somewhat indeterminate attitude towards the whole affair. The attitude of America too has come in for some comment. When Mr. K.P.S. Menon called the American Ambassador (Mr.

Henderson) to the Ministry the other day and raised the question of Marshall aid for Holland, Mr. Henderson replied that this could not be cut off since an embargo by America of this kind would amount to using the plan for political purposes. When speaking to me later Menon wrote Henderson's explanation off as 'inane'.

5. There has been no repetition of earlier reports that an Indonesian Government in exile will be formed in India. On Monday last when we met Soedarsono, and Indonesian Representatives from adjoining areas, they said that the emergency government under Dr.

Sjafrudin would, for the time being, carry on from Sumatra.



New Delhi, December 30, 1948.

Republic of Indonesia Office of the Representative in India.

No. 1545/11/48.

From: Dr. Soedarsono, Representative of the Republic of Indonesia in India

To: Dr. Usman, Representative of the Republic of Indonesia in Australia

Begins. To be submitted to the Government of the Commonwealth of Australia after approval and substitution.

Quote. The Security Council passed on December 24, 1948, a resolution calling upon the two parties to cease fire and to release the Indonesian leaders. The clause demanding for the withdrawal of the Dutch troops to the lines prior to the outbreak of the colonial war, was rejected on the 24th, and again on the 27th.

In connection with the above, we feel very strongly in drawing your attention to the following facts:

1. A similar demand, viz. that for the withdrawal of troops to the lines prior to the outbreak of the colonial war, was also made last year, and with the result known to all of us, viz.

sanctioning the occupation of Republican areas by the Dutch by means of force.

2. Negotiation through the intermediary of the Committee of Good Offices has and will yield no result on account of the limited power given to it.

3. In a political overall solution and not a mere military one, lies the whole solution for the Indonesian question.

4. Since this cannot be done through good offices of the Commission formed by the United Nations, we are of the opinion that arbitration can only be the alternative in solving the issue.

As all this cannot, in our opinion, be materialized immediately by the Security Council, we are of the opinion that a satisfactory solution of the Indonesian issue is impossible through the United Nations Organisation only. A speedy solution can only be reached through a third party, which, acting as an intermediary in addition to the Security Council, would be strong enough to force the Dutch to come to an immediate agreement or to submit themselves to arbitration.

We are further of the opinion that this third party is to consist of neighbouring countries, and those which have a lively interest in Indonesia, as for instance India, Pakistan, Burma, Australia, Ceylon and New Zealand. It goes without saying that it is left to the discretion of the individual countries concerned to suggest what joint action can be undertaken.

As, according to our representative to the Security Council, the attitude of and the actions to be taken by the Governments of the United States of America and the United Kingdom, will depend upon steps which will be taken into consideration and executed by Asian countries, especially by India, Pakistan, Burma, Ceylon and also Australia, and developments both in the Security Council and in Indonesia have reached a critical stage, we on our part would like to suggest the following:

A. As the first steps to be taken and already being considered by your Government:

- severance of diplomatic relations - imposing of economic sanctions - rendering of material help.

B. For further joint action we would like to suggest that the above-mentioned countries are by agreement to invite any other country interested in the question, with the view to take the following steps:

(a) to order the Dutch to come to an immediate and direct solution by means of arbitration through countries in Asia, the Far East and the Pacific, which are directly interested in the issue.

(b) to order the Dutch to withdraw their troops under supervision of a joint police force which is to maintain law and order to prevent any 'possible retaliation'.

The individual friendly countries will adopt such measures or sanctions-economic or diplomatic-as may commend to themselves.

In the meantime we can assure that our people and armed forces will continue the fight till the last bitter end. Although we do not get any news directly from Java as a result of the disappearance of our radio stations which were bombed out by the Dutch, we still receive reports from Sumatra to the effect that our side have recently secured many gains at several fronts. We are convinced that guerilla fighting on a large scale is and will continue throughout the Republican territories. Unquote. Ends.

1 See Documents 463 and 464.

[AA : A5009/2, A7/3/13, ii]